As a little girl growing up in rural America being taught old fashioned values and principles, the voice of my grandmother saying, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” prevailed in my actions growing up and throughout my adult life. Whether it was how I spoke to someone, treated someone or what I did for someone, this guided me. Even as a practicing nurse, I often asked myself how I would want my family member cared for when they were in the hospital. I informed patients of their rights, questioned physicians on unusual orders and upheld the dignity of those individuals whose care was placed in my hands.
Now, I read where many in Congress and their aides are contemplating leaving Washington DC because of a healthcare bill they themselves passed. I have to ask of the legislative body of America, “What were you thinking?” Warnings went out via radio talk shows and alternative media outlets about this monstrosity of a healthcare bill, known as the Affordable Care Act (that’s a true oxymoron). In the forever more preserved recorded words of Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and I am paraphrasing here, “You need to pass it to know what’s in it.” True to form, that’s exactly what happened.
But what do we now hear coming out of Washington? A lot of whining about individuals making $35,000 to $170,000 per year being unable to afford the “Affordable Care Act.” My response to this has to be, “Want some cheese to go with that whine?” Congressional official after congressional official graced the media and the public in television and print touting the rhetoric of “healthcare for those who couldn’t afford current healthcare” and how much better this government plan is above the current system. What they were really saying is, “This is great for all American citizens because we won’t have to abide by it.”
In my career, I have supervised many individuals from other nurses to nurse’s aides. The philosophy I followed was simple; I will ask no one to do something that I would not be willing to do myself. This served me well as it went back to the tried and true “Golden Rule” my grandmother instilled in me. If I thought something was wrong or knew it violated any state practice act or other law, I would not do it and I encouraged those I supervised to refrain from doing it. At times, I was not very popular with the management in these cases. Confident in the values and principles I was taught and armed with the knowledge of the state Nurse Practice Act, I exhibited no fear, suffered no intimidation and challenged the lack of moral compass presented before me. My actions did not get me fired as I stood on the law and acted in good faith.
Some individuals in companies/agencies will disregard rules or regulations and those under them will go along with those instructions. But, inevitably Murphy’s Law follows and something goes awry and the blame game begins: management blames those below them while those who violated the rules on instruction blame management spouting, “I was only doing what I was told.” Everyone should have a moral compass. If something sounds wrong, is wrong, and feels wrong; it’s not a hard stretch to say it is wrong. In this case, the individual has a moral responsibility and obligation to refuse and refrain from engaging in that activity.
In this case, many members of Congress “did what they were told,” passing a bill with a little known amendment added by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) that states the government can only extend to lawmakers and their aides plans that were “created” in the bill or “offered through an exchange” (unless the law was amended). Why didn’t members of Congress know it was there? They didn’t read the healthcare act. The idea of this amendment was to force members of Congress to accept the same healthcare being forced on the American public. I can only surmise this was to either prevent passage of the bill or force a change in the bill if members of Congress knew they would be subject to the same law. Murphy’s Law reared its head.
Their solution now is to leave their jobs because some of their aides or themselves may not be able to afford this affordable healthcare. Again, I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer; but, I have enough wherewithal to know that Congress is the legislative body in charge of passing laws. Hello? Congress? Anybody home?
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I have a suggestion for you: Stop the whining, get off your hands and legislate the repeal of the unaffordable Affordable Care Act!